New state budget to give teachers a pay increase

DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The North Carolina state budget is set to be finalized on Thursday.

Under the new state budget, teachers and other state employees will receive a 2.5% increase in their annual salaries.

The budget will put $100 million toward programs to boost teachers’ pay.

Once signed, it will also provide $500 million in funding for businesses in the state still recovering from the pandemic, as well as funding for improvements on mobile broadband and sewer infrastructure around the state.

The U.S. Department of Education has reported staffing shortages in schools across the state of North Carolina. Teachers spoke about their appreciation for the pay increase amid a year riddled with challenges.

“We’re in it for different reasons other than money, but it is nice to be rewarded and to know that people out there are looking at teachers and saying ‘job well done,’” Brittany Knowles, Duplin County Schools Teacher of the Year said.

Knowles is an English teacher at Wallace-Rose Hill High School in Duplin County. She says the school was lucky to avoid staffing shortages for most of the pandemic but was riddled with challenges through virtual learning.

Duplin County Schools issued a statement about staffing shortages and the pay increase, saying:

The state budget passed the North Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday.

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